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Men with K.C. ties provide support to Israel’s Lone Soldiers

Men with K.C. ties provide  support to Israel’s Lone Soldiers

Earlier this month Jason Barnett helped issue Israeli IDs to new immigrants who will be joining the IDF in three months. Throughout Israel’s history, volunteers and supporters from all over the world... Read more...

Event to teach women about mitzvah of baking challah

Event to teach women about mitzvah of baking challah

Women will learn how to make and braid challah at the Mega Challah Bake Sept. 2. “The warm, delicious smell of Challah brings something peaceful into the atmosphere of the home.” Read more...

Listening Post

Celebrating a couple of auspicious birthdays are (from left) Eliyahu Eisenbach, 1, Tehila and Shalom Eisenbach and Sarah Zeldin, 102. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU AND YOU — This birthday was truly a family... Read more...

KC SuperStar finalists include Jewish contestant

Paris Naster is one of 10 finalists vying to become the next KC SuperStar. This year marked the first time 17-year-old Paris Naster auditioned for KC SuperStar, the Jewish Community Center’s “American... Read more...

Bestselling author, Israeli columnist Ari Shavit to speak at Federation Annual Meeting

Ari Shavit Provocative Israeli columnist and New York Times bestselling author Ari Shavit will bring his views on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Jewish Community Campus on Wednesday,... Read more...

Listening Post

THE SINGING RABBI — Rabbi Larry Karol recently mounted a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to record a third album. The Kansas City native surpassed his initial fundraising goal last week and hopes... Read more...

HBHA expands Jewish studies program, names Rabbi Rockoff Matmidim director

Last year’s first grade Matmidim participants at HBHA — Mendel Tiechtel (from left), Chaya Morgenstern, Zachary Granoff, Rayli Kopelman, Baruch Chaim Mazel, Livia Noorollah and Ari Green — posed... Read more...

Israeli terror survivor to tell courageous story here next week

Kay Wilson Some people may find the difference between a terror victim and a terror survivor to be very subtle. In the case of Kay Wilson, the difference is not subtle. Wilson, who will speak here on... Read more...

Emissaries serve Israel here in K.C. while friends serve on the front lines

Barney Goodman Campers gathered around Israeli shlichim (emissaries) Sapir Davidov (top row, second from left) and Noy Tiram (top row, second from right). Now that camp is over, they will travel a little... Read more...

Balloon Festival features new venue, entertainment and cooking competitions

The Great Midwest Balloon Festival, founded by Robbie and Steve Small, has changed venues for this year’s event. It happens this weekend, Aug. 8-10 at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. Festival... Read more...

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Letter to the Editor

Interfaith Council needs to despise anti-Semitism In response to the letter written by Sheila Sonnenschein and Rev. Mary McCoy of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council (Aug. 14), I wonder if it... Read more...

The structure of racism: Change begins with all of us

The structure of racism: Change begins with all of us

For decades, structures have existed that created and sustained Ferguson, Missouri’s, damaged relationship with its police. They have quietly worked their magic, and brought about the shooting of Michael... Read more...

Letters to the Editor

Israel is the victim I can’t help but find a correlation between Muslim migration into Europe and other non-Muslim countries and the rising clamor of anti-Semitism in those countries. Hamas instigated... Read more...

The spiritual journey of a lifetime

Ten local women participated in the 2014 Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project trip to Israel last month. Posing for this photo at the Decks in Tiberious are Stacy Wright (back row, from left), Patricia... Read more...

Letters to the Editor

We need to combat hate Anti-Semitism is a worldwide problem that is getting worse, especially overseas. Our best protection is education, making living conditions better for others and swift eradication... Read more...

The underlying war: Islamism versus democracy

Are Jews the canary in Western Civilization’s cultural mine? Read more...

Turning 80

During my journey through life, as the years have rolled on, I have discovered that time flies even when you’re not having fun — and suddenly even a watershed event can sneak up on one, as it did me.... Read more...

Letters to the Editor

Why can’t Jews speak Hebrew? How come so few Jews in North America know how to speak Hebrew? Sure a lot of them know how to read Hebrew from Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and there is a flowery English translation... Read more...

Why we’re letting our daughter stay in Israel in wartime

Let’s just say that missiles and bomb shelters were not on the itinerary of our 16-year-old daughter’s pilgrimage trip to Israel this summer. I spoke to her this morning. Yeah, the alarms are unnerving,... Read more...

Letter to the Editor

Half-truths and anti-Semitism I was irate after watching the late CNN news on July 10. Anderson Cooper pretended to deliver a factual report about Israel’s bombing of Arab residences, with a slight... Read more...

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Celebrations

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Buchbinder Birth

Buchbinder Birth

Baree Nottberg and Scott Buchbinder of Overland Park announce the birth June 27 of a son, Theo Everett Read more...

Zwick-Pohlman Engagement

Zwick-Pohlman Engagement

Arvin and Tammy Zwick of Overland Park announce the engagement of their daughter, Heather Ashley Zwick, to Andrew David Pohlman, son of Jeff and Robin Pohlman of Memphis, Tenn. Read more...

Nerman Wedding Anniversary

Margaret and Jerome Nerman will celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary on Friday, Aug. 8. They are lifelong residents of Kansas City and have lived in Leawood since 1990. Read more...

Krashin Birth

Daniel and Jacki Krashin of Wilmete, Ill., announce the birth May 20 of a son, Drake Evan. They are also the parents of Madilyn Paige. Read more...

Unowsky Bat Mitzvah

Keri and Daniel Unowsky announce the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Sarah Beatrice, on Saturday, Aug. 9, at Beth Sholom Synagogue in Memphis, Tenn. Read more...

Weiner-Conley Engagement

Barbara and Jeff Weiner of Prairie Village announce the engagement of their daughter, Rebecca Brooke Weiner, to Jason Robert Conley, son of Randi and Larry Haith and Kim and Bob Conley. Read more...

Bock-Lewis Engagement

Lynne and David Bock announce the engagement of their daughter, Hannah Rose Bock, to Joshua Aaron Lewis, son of Sheryl and Jim Lewis of Deerfield, Ill. Read more...

Chase Bat Mitzvah

Debbie and Jeff Chase announce the Bat Mitzvah of their daughter, Talia Faye, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at Congregation Beth Torah. Read more...

Passer-Wolkofsky Engagement

Sandy and Steve Passer announce the engagement of their daughter, Emily Passer, to Peter Wolkofsky, son of Michael and Vicky Wolkofsky of Queens, N.Y. Read more...

Zwillenberg 50th Anniversary

Morris and Linda (Fein) Zwillenberg will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday, July 26. They were married at Beth Shalom Synagogue in Hartford, Conn., on July 26, 1964. Read more...

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Obituaries

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Braeman, Aaron

Braeman, Aaron

Aaron Braeman, 100, of Overland Park, died on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, at Village Shalom. Read more...

Brown, Peedee

Brown, Peedee

Peedee Brown (nee Roseroot), 74, of Overland Park, formerly of Fairway, died peacefully at her home on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, surrounded by her loved ones. Read more...

Hipsh, Sam Harry

Sam Harry Hipsh, 95, of Leawood, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. Read more...

Mittelman, Sara

Sara Mittelman, 97, was born May 10, 1917, and died Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, at Menorah Medical Center. Read more...

Sher, Peyton

Peyton Sher, 90, international boxing matchmaker and promoter, of Leawood, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, at the Kansas City Hospice House. Read more...

Zingher, Fran Meadow

Fran Meadow Zingher, 92, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. Read more...

Rosenberg, Abraham B.

Abraham B. Rosenberg, 93, of Overland Park, passed away Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, at Village Shalom. Read more...

Spiegel, Robert Alan

Robert Allan Spiegel, 76, of Ra’anana, Israel, passed away on Monday, July 28, 2014. Read more...

Wurzburger, Irene

Irene Wurzburger, 94, of Overland Park, passed away on Sunday, Aug 10, 2014. Read more...

Beiman, Melvyn

Melvyn Beiman, 82, of Lee’s Summit, died on Wednesday, July 24, 2014, at the Village House on the campus of John Knox Village. Read more...

Family’s cooking show combines love of food and high-tech

Eleven-year-old Bree Katz may not have known it when she was just a preschooler, but what started out as an afternoon of fun and family bonding has become something family and friends near and far enjoy, “Brianna’s Cooking Show.” 

The show stars Bree, a fifth-grader at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, and is produced by her older brother, 16-year-old Jacob, a sophomore at the Jewish day school. 

The first show was produced about seven years ago when Bree was only 4. Jacob wanted to play around with his new video camera and Bree was hungry. She wanted to make scrambled eggs. The rest, as they say, is history.

Looking back, Vicki Katz said early on the cooking show was a way for her two children to get her to cook something they wanted to eat.

“They always want me to cook and I want to get out of cooking sometimes,” Vicki said. “As time went on, whenever they wanted me to make something, they would decide to make a cooking show.”

 

Their father, Gary Katz, said the show is also a way “to keep everyone busy.”

“I helped teach Jake how to do the editing while Vicki was teaching Bree how to cook,” Gary said.

The owner of Mac M.D. Inc. (www.macmd.com), Gary said he prefers to stay behind the scenes as a director. But he has been known to help on camera, on occasion.

Over the past four years they’ve done eight episodes total, demonstrating such things as scrambled eggs, waffles, pancakes and granola bars. Some of the episodes have been related to Jewish holiday cooking — they’ve made hamantaschen and potato latkes. That’s where Grandma Barbara “Baba” Katz enters the picture.

“I guest starred in the latke episode,” Barbara Katz said. “I specialize in Jewish cooking.”

“They make latkes every single year,” Vicki said. “We wanted to capture it because they are THE best latkes.”

“We make 250 every year,” Barbara said. One year, the Katz family made more than 400 latkes to take to two different family parties.

The latke episode was actually taped in Barbara’s kitchen, the only that hasn’t been produced at Vicki and Gary’s Overland Park home. That’s also the only episode that has been posted to the HBHA website. You can find it at www.rampagewired.com.

It’s on the HBHA website because Jacob is a member of the school’s tech club. As such, he has the opportunity to use the school’s professional-level camera and editing equipment. That’s how he produced this episode and decided to share it with the entire school community.

The family enjoys making new episodes and watching the old ones.

“You watch it and you listen to Bree talk and you can see how she’s changed,” said Jacob, while others in the family were chiming in how he’s changed as well.

“You see when Bree and I were young and I couldn’t hold the camera steady to now when it actually looks like a production,” Jacob added.

In the early days Gary taught Jacob how to do just about everything for the show. As he grew older, Jacob said he began teaching himself how to do special effects and titles. He’s very proud of how his techniques have advanced, especially for a surprise show they did for Vicki’s birthday last summer. They made cinnamon rolls.

“I was excited to get the cinnamon rolls out for Mom’s birthday, so I got that done quickly,” Jacob said. “In what I like to call 3 a.m. editing, which is when I’m bored, I like to put in fun stuff. In that episode I used a Batman sound and put a spinning cinnamon roll in it.”

There is no regular schedule for the shows. The Katz family puts one together whenever the desire hits them.

“Sometimes I’ll say ‘hey, we have nothing to do, want to make a cooking show?’,” Bree said. Or, as Gary phrased it, Bree will want something to eat and “then we’ll back it up and make a cooking show.”

Bree, who has been in every show because it’s got her name in the title, said she likes doing it “most of the time.”

“I like being able to have a reason to get food. It’s a good way to get something for dinner or dessert and sometimes breakfast,” she said. There’s always been another adult in the show, usually Vicki. But, Bree said “Baba is becoming a regular.”

Just as most celebrity chefs recommend, Vicki keeps her pantry well stocked, so they can almost always do a show at the spur of the moment without even making a special run to the grocery store.

Even though Vicki said she often tries to get out of the chore of cooking, she actually likes to cook and bake. She learned it all from her grandmother Margueritte “Gammy” Davis. In fact Gammy was featured on the cover of The Chronicle making matzah balls with three generations of her family, daughter Helene Singer (Vicki’s mother), granddaughter Lanie Browar (Vicki’s sister) and nieces Melissa and Rebecca Browar. Vicki missed that photo shoot because she was away at college.

“I used to watch cooking shows with Gammy and then whatever she wanted to make she always could just whip it up. She never had a recipe,” Vicki fondly remembers.

Vicki cooks that way as well. So the hardest thing for her when preparing for a cooking show is actually having a recipe to share.

“I don’t use recipes most of the time. So I actually have to think about what I do and write it down and that’s how they get the recipes,” Vicki said.

There are at least two more shows in the works. Bree is clamoring for fudge. Jacob wants something a bit more complicated.

“I want rainbow cookies,” Jacob said. “That one’s complicated and we haven’t gotten around to doing it yet.”

The show is a hit with their family and friends.

“My friends and relatives will go make whatever we make. Then we’ll get a phone call saying, that was really good,” Vicki said.

Jacob only has two years of high school left, but that doesn’t mean the show will end.

“I wouldn’t mind coming back during breaks and doing shows,” he said.

The newest Passover video can be found at http://youtu.be/xDPnTzLBlas, as well as Gary’s YouTube channel http://youtube.com/frensleven. Or you can simply search YouTube for “Brianna’s Cooking Show.”